Bastille Day recipes

By Liao Fangzhou Source:Global Times Published: 2016/7/13 18:23:00

Three French dishes to make to celebrate the country’s National Day

As much as celebrating liberty, equality and fraternity, the French National Day is also an occasion to honor the country's art of cuisine.

Three cooking enthusiasts share their favorite French recipes with the Global Times, from main dishes to a popular dessert.

Baked chicken leg


  • 1 chicken leg
  • Salt
  • Ground basil
  • 500g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small potato
  • Half a carrot
  • Half an onion
  • Minced garlic
  • Olive oil


  • Preheat oven to 170 C
  • Clean and dry chicken leg
  • Rub with salt and ground basil and let sit for 30 minutes
  • Slice cherry tomatoes into halves
  • Dice potato, carrot and onion
  • On small baking dish, mix vegetables with olive oil and ground basil until fully coated
  • Place chicken atop vegetables, sprinkle with minced garlic, salt and ground basil, and brush an extra layer of olive oil on chicken
  • Bake for 90 minutes until skin is golden brown

Photos: Courtesy of the interviewees

Ellen first tried the recipe when she invited friends for dinner and she happened to have the required ingredients.

She flavored the chicken leg for just 3o minutes, while similar recipes suggest a night in the refrigerator.

"I believe the chicken meat would be fresher this way. However, it also means I have to add a very generous amount of salt before I start baking. Don't worry that it might become too salty, for then it would pair perfectly with rice or pasta," Ellen said.

Sweet potato and celery can be great substitutes for the minor ingredients. The key, Ellen said, is to make sure that all of them stay under the chicken leg.

"Otherwise the water that comes out from the vegetables during the baking process would prevent the chicken leg from reaching the desirable crispy texture," she explained.



  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 onion
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Herbes de Provence (can be store-bought, or make a mixture of rosemary, French thyme, tarragon, basil, savory, fennel, lavender, marjoram, oregano, dill and chervil)


  • Preheat oven to 250 C
  • Dice 1 tomato and chop onion, and put both into food processor to make a mash
  • Thinly and evenly slice remaining tomato, eggplant, green pepper, carrot and zucchini
  • Add a little amount of olive oil to a pan
  • Sauté mash in pan, adding sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • Add sliced vegetables
  • Sprinkle herbes de Provence and heat for a few minutes
  • Move pan to oven, baking for 20 minutes until eggplant browns at edges


This ultra-healthy classical Provence vegetable dish is a must-have for those who want to eat light and clean.

Ashura first learned the recipe from the 2007 American animation film Ratatouille, in which a rat named Remy dreams of becoming a chef and stuns France's top food critic, Ego, with a variation of ratatouille near the end.

Ashura found the recipe itself is pretty easy, but the slicing process can be time-consuming and exhausting since she tries to make them as equally thin as possible.

"You also need to be patient when you place them one by one on the plate, since for a better look you would want vegetables of different colors next to each other," she said.

To substitute herbes de Provence, which is not very commonly found in Shanghai supermarkets, simplify the mixture by using just rosemary or thyme.

Poached pear


  • 1 pear
  • White sugar
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Anise
  • Rosemary
  • Red wine


  • In a pot, melt sugar in water on high heat to make a syrup
  • Place pear in syrup
  • Add cinnamon stick, anise, rosemary and red wine
  • Boil until peach is slightly softened
  • Fry the pear in a pan with cinnamon stick, anise and rosemary
  • Heat remaining syrup until it thickens, and use to decorate the plate

A member of a French cuisine association and founder of Chef Mama, a platform for mothers who cook, Zhuang Ling is extremely fond of French cuisine and often comes back from the country with several French cookbooks.

"I learned this dessert from one of the cookbooks that introduces how to make dishes from France's Michelin-starred restaurants, and I relied on a French-Chinese dictionary to get it right," Zhuang said.

When she decorates the plate with syrup, she oftens add berries for a refreshing kick.

"The dessert tastes just like the renditions I had in France or those French restaurants in Shanghai," Zhuang said.

Posted in: Food, About Town

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